Saturday, January 26, 2008

What in the world???

Product information
Key features
A colorful cushion with pockets that can keep a child's feet warm.
Easy to clean; machine wash, warm 104°F (40°C).

I really, really, really don't get this product. What child wants to wear a pillow on her feet? I know all mothers don't want their children to grow up so quickly, but inhibiting their ability to crawl and to walk is just wrong. What other purpose would this thing serve, seriously?!

What If???

This morning I met a couple of friends at a local hotel to attend an informational meeting on the North Texas Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. One friend has set a goal to run a half-marathon today and I had told her I would go with her to the meeting, but that I wasn't making any promises on actually signing up.

Well...I decided to sign up and will be running the North Trails Half Marathon on May 18. I have a personal fundraising goal of $2000. If you'd like to donate, please visit my fundraising website. No amount is too small! I'm excited to be running and raising funds to help eradicate blood cancers. My friend's 18-month-old son has been battling leukemia for 6 months now. He is my main motivation. I'll share more of his story and a photo after I get her permission. :-)

About 45 minutes into the meeting, I got a phone call from Brad. I didn't answer my phone, which is typical for me if I'm tied up in a meeting or something of that sort. In fact, I turned the ringer off and put the phone in my pocket. After the meeting was over, I called him. He answered and I asked him what was up. He choked out, "We were in a car accident," and then I heard him say, "I can't talk to her," and handed the phone to his step-mom. I panicked, of course, and started firing questions at her, "What? Did he just say they were in a car accident? Is he ok? Is Nyssa ok? Where are they? What happened???" Poor woman - I didn't mean to assault her verbally with questions, but I couldn't help it. She said they were fine, that they were at the ER at Plano Presby in room 10 and they were waiting on the doctor to check Brad out. I told her I would be there shortly and jumped on the tollway to get to the hospital.

On my way southbound, I noticed traffic slowing down just after the Spring Creek exit. I didn't want to mess with a traffic jam, so I jumped off and took back roads. I briefly thought that the accident that was being cleared might have been the accident they were in. I glanced in my rearview mirror as I headed west down Spring Creek Parkway and thought that the white car on the tow truck could have been Brad's, but wasn't sure. I was glad I had gotten off the tollway and couldn't see the car up close.

I parked in the emergency room patient parking, figuring since my husband and daughter were in there that it was ok even though I wasn't a patient. Funny, the things we think about in moments like that. I rushed in and asked the person at the front desk, "Where is room 10?" She asked who I was there to see. "Brad and Nyssa S." was my reply. She snapped at me and said, "There can only be two visitors in the room. I snapped back, "I am her MOTHER." They opened the door and I speed-walked to room 10. Brad was on the gurney, in a neck brace and still strapped to the blue board that the paramedics had put him on to transport him. Nyssa was in her car seat (with the base attached) and she had some red glowing light thing taped to her toe. I have no idea what it was.

The doctor came in and examined Brad's and Nyssa's vitals, they were fine. Then a nurse came in a bit later and unstrapped Brad from the board. Then the radiologist came in and wheeled Brad away to get x-rays of his neck. Nothing is broken, thankfully! The doctor offered to get Brad a CT scan, but Brad declined since he hadn't lost consciousness.

The doctor wrote prescriptions for various pain pills and a muscle relaxer for Brad, and then discharged them. We drove home after grabbing lunch and dropping off the prescriptions to be filled.

So by now you are probably wondering how the accident happened. Brad was driving northbound on the tollway, heading home from running errands with Nyssa since I had that meeting this morning. There was a Cadillac stopped in the far left lane of the tollway. Apparently the car had completely run out of fuel. Brad changed lanes to avoid hitting the Caddy, and a car in the middle lane rear-ended him. Brad started to try and pull over on the shoulder of the road, but then got shaky so he just stopped and called 911. They sent DPS and the paramedics, because Brad told them he had hit his head. The 911 operator wouldn't let Brad off the phone after he told him that.

The DPS officer came to the hospital and told Brad that he had ticketed the Cadillac driver for being stopped on the roadway. He said they don't find fault, they just determine the cause of the accident. Would the accident have happened if the Cadillac hadn't been on the side of the road? No. The officer told us that we could get a copy of the accident report in 10 days (I think? I can't recall exactly now).

I hate to even try and ponder the what ifs. I can't seem to help it, though! What if the accident had been much, much worse? This morning before I left, Brad was fiddling with the base to Nyssa's car seat. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was fixing it - apparently when the Audi dealership detailed his car, they moved or removed the base and when they reinstalled it, they didn't put it in correctly. What if he hadn't realized something was wrong and hadn't fixed it?

But thankfully, the what ifs are just that. God protected my wonderful husband and sweet, sweet baby, and our family unit is intact.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bored? Read your town's police blotter.

Some of my favorites...

1/13/2008 12:04:00AM Brief Narrative: 08004363 ELDORADO PKWY / RESEARCH RD
A known subject was found to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated due to a
traffic stop.

So the traffic stop caused the subject to become intoxicated? My 7th grade English teacher would have a hey-day (hay day?) with this one.

1/13/2008 9:37:00AM Brief Narrative: 08004462 5000 BLK LEBEAU LN
Unknown person(s) removed four wheels and tires from a vehicle without effective consent.

1/14/2008 11:28:00AM Brief Narrative: 08004793 2000 BLK DEL LARGO WAY
An unknown subject spray painted on the victim's brick home without consent.

The ones where they say, "without consent," just make me laugh. I have these visions of the thief knocking on the door and saying, "Excuse me, sir, do you mind if I remove your tires and wheels? Or spray paint your bricks?"

1/13/2008 10:50:00AM Brief Narrative: 08004482 11000 BLK ROGERS RD
Unknown actor(s) spray painted lengthy inscriptions on the exterior of both the public restroom facilities and the concession stand at Warren Sports Complex using pink spray paint.

I love that they included the color of the spray paint.

1/13/2008 3:33:00PM Brief Narrative: 08004540 7000 BLK PRESTON RD
Unknown white male pumped $112.43 worth of fuel and left the location without making any attempts to pay. Texas license plate returns to a stolen 1995 Ford F-150.


1/13/2008 413:00PM Brief Narrative: 08004541 12000 BLK PENICK WAY Unknown actor(s) spray painted "stop war" on victim's fence.

The use of the term "actor(s)" amuses me. I envision C-grade Hollywood movie actors making political statements.

1/13/2008 5:40:00PM Brief Narrative: 08004553 3000 BLK PRESTON RD
An unknown subject stole radio out of vehicle without owner's consent.

Another "without consent." Still cracks me up.

1/14/2008 10:09:00AM Brief Narrative: 08004770 2000 BLK HAGUE DR
An unknown subject forced entry into a home under construction and took a cabinet and bath fixture.

Ok, seriously. Who does this? A weekend warrior affected by the recession? Uh oh, honey...we're out of money for our bathroom remodel project and I still need a cabinet and bath fixture. Any ideas?

1/14/2008 1:53:00PM Brief Narrative: 08004828 7000 BLK EUBANKS ST
Unknown male subjects broke into vehicle and stole victim's stereo and other items.

Ok, I admit that this one isn't terribly funny unless you know my friend Lynn, and her bad luck with her cars, and the fact that not only was her radio stolen from her Honda Civic, but the entire panel, including the whole air conditioning unit in the front of the car, was removed!

1/14/2008 6:17:00PM Brief Narrative: 08004892 3000 BLK AUTUMN LN
Unknown subjects took lumber from construction site and drove away in red Ford van with red 16' trailer.

Subtle getaway car, no?

1/15/2008 8:35:00AM Brief Narrative: 08005152 12000 BLK EDEN LN
An unknown subject(s) took windows from a home under construction.

Again...who does this? What is the black market like for house parts???

1/16/2008 7:56:00AM Brief Narrative: 08005402 9000 BLK WADE BLVD
Unknown subject(s) took scaffolding from construction site without consent.

*sigh* What IS it with theft from construction sites?

1/16/2008 8:44:00AM Brief Narrative: 08005424 7000 BLK HICKORY ST
Unknown person(s) stole the gas out of the victim's truck without his consent.

HOW does a person do this? Seems like stealing it from the pump would be more pleasant?

1/16/2008 2:20:00PM Brief Narrative: 08005520 11000 BLK RESEARCH RD
Actor used City of Carrollton water meter to interrupt the public water supply.

I am having a hard time visualizing this one.

1/16/2008 2:32:00PM Brief Narrative: 08005528 5000 BLK TOWN & COUNTRY BLVD
Subject ordered pizza and did not pay for it.

Do you suppose it was a crank call?

1/16/2008 3:32-OOPM Brief Narrative: 08005552 10000 BLK BYRON DR
Unknown suspects took property from the victim's porch without permission.

I'm dying to know what the property was that was stolen. A swing? A plant? Giant concrete lions? If you are wanting the latter, I know where you can get two of them for free, you just have to be able to remove them from my inlaws' front porch. They'll give you permission, I promise.

1/16/2008 3:33:00PM Brief Narrative: 08005553 13000 BLK HONEY GROVE DR
Unknown actor took victims bicycle while it was parked in the bicycle rack at Pierce Elementary.

Aww, now that's just sad. Don't steal a kid's bike!

And for a couple that could have been prevented - consider this my PSA (Public Service Announcement):

1i16/2008 8A9.'00AM Brief Narrative: 08005428 12000 BLK 423 FM
Unknown subject(s) took victim's purse from her grocery cart without her consent.

Ladies, watch your purses. If you are going to put it in the grocery cart, do two things. Zip or snap it shut, and take the child safety strap and buckle it through a handle. It makes it a lot harder for someone to steal your purse that way. I can't tell you the number of times I have seen a woman standing five feet away from her cart, while her unzipped purse sits in the seat of the basket with the wallet in plain view.

1/14/2008 4:44:00PM Brief Narrative: 08004874 4000 BLK PRESTON RD
Unknown suspect took victim's driver license and credit cards out unlocked car in the parking lot of 24 Hour Fitness.

PEOPLE! LOCK YOUR CARS!!! And don't leave that stuff in your car!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Recalls and Eggs

I am utterly amused by this recall.

Nordstrom Recalls Taper and Votive Candles Due To Fire Hazard.

Granted, if you read the entire recall you will see that the coating on the outside of the candle is apparently flammable. I understand WHY they're recalling them, but it doesn't make it any less amusing to me.

On another, totally unrelated note (but I didn't feel like doing a whole separate blog entry for this one), one of my cookbooks offered the following advice for substitutions. If you need a substitute for one egg, you can use...(drum roll, please)...TWO EGG YOLKS! That's right, folks...just use two egg yolks in place of ONE EGG! I'm kind of thinking that if I don't have one egg, I am not going to have TWO egg yolks (which come from EGGS, right?) lying around.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Adult-sized Easy Bake Oven

I always wanted one of these as a kid. I never got one and have thought from time to time that I should buy myself one now just to see what all the hype was about. I'm sure in time Nyssa will ask for one and I can check out the hype with her.

Until then, my desire for small batches of yummy goodness is currently being met by the cookbook, Small Batch Baking, by Debby Maugans Nakos. I picked it up a week ago from Barnes and Noble. At first glance, I thought I had made a mistake as almost all of the recipes call for unsalted butter at least, and some even called for buttermilk. Since we're a non-dairy household, butter and buttermilk aren't welcome in our home.

But always up for a challenge, I decided to attempt a recipe tonight using my dairy substitute for butter, Smart Balance Light spread. Oddly enough, the regular, non-light stuff contains dairy proteins, but the light stuff doesn't. The recipe was the Just Good Cupcakes. Not only did the recipe call for unsalted butter (2 T of the stuff), but it also wanted a quarter-cup of buttermilk.

I love Google! I simply typed, "buttermilk substitute vegan," into the search engine and received the same advice over several web pages; add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of soy or rice milk and let it sit for a while. So I did just that, and then stirred it up, poured a quarter cup out, and put the rest in the fridge for later when I decide to make these cupcakes again.

Small batch baking does not equal SPEEDY or simplified baking. No, it was just as much work as if I had made a huge batch of cupcakes. But it was fun to do! I had several prep bowls full of ingredients (it's the only way I will cook now that I am operating with mommybrain). I did have to pitch 1/8 t of baking soda and 1/8 t of salt because I stuck them in the same bowl instead of separate bowls and the recipe has you add them at different stages. Oops! Oh, well, it wasn't anything significant!

I was concerned with how the cupcakes would turn out, given my two substitutions. I am happy to say that they were delicious and all four of them are now gone. And if I had made a huge batch of two dozen cupcakes, they might all be gone, too!

I did frost them with Duncan Hines chocolate frosting (delightfully dairy-free!) as I was feeling lazy after dinner and not up to whipping up a small batch of icing.

I'll definitely make these again. Sorry there are no photos, they weren't all that pretty!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Where's Waldo?

Go to this link:

Grace Community Church

Scroll down until you see the photo with the worship team.

Do you see me in the photo? I'm there, I promise. :-)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cell Phone Camera Fun

I was flipping through the photo album on my phone and realized that there were several crazy photos I haven't shared here yet. I'm feeling quite lazy tonight so you'll have to visit the Picasa album in order to see the photos and read the comments.

From Oddities Janu...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

Although first I should say happy BELATED birthday to my wonderful husband. He's 38 hours and 11 minutes older than I am. His birthday was yesterday. He had to work, but came home early and his favorite meal of sauerbraten and mashed potatoes greeted him. I had also decorated the bar with some crepe streamers and a paper balloon, and hung another paper balloon from the light fixture over the dining table. It wasn't much, but I was busy cooking dinner!

I also made a yummy, allergen-free (i.e. no dairy or eggs) chocolate cake. I got the recipe from - if you search for depression cakes, you'll find it. Apparently these cakes were very popular back in the Depression when eggs were in short supply and high demand. No one would ever be able to tell this cake wasn't a "normal" cake full of eggs and milk and butter.

Here are some photos from yesterday.

I should have taken a photo before I lit the candles. Those letters melted SUPER fast!

Number candles are just safer after a certain age.

See what I mean about the fast-melting candles?! Thank goodness they weren't relighting candles!

They're kind of creepy-looking now!

More creepiness.

Ok, so back to the title...MY birthday!

I have the greatest husband.

He left me a love note on the wall this morning that I found when I went to the kitchen to fix breakfast for Nyssa.

Inside the love note was another message.

And later that afternoon, he sent me flowers!

And then he came home with "something small" he said he thought I'd like.

What is that? Look more closely...

WOO HOO! He had led me to believe we needed to wait until February to get the D300, sneaky man! Now the battery needs to hurry up and charge so I can go play! It doesn't take the same batteries that my other Nikons take. BOO!

Nyssa let me sleep until 9:30, which was nice. And Grandma Coni babysat this evening so Brad and I could go to dinner at Cheesecake Factory. I didn't get any cheesecake since you know, it's made with DAIRY and all...but dinner was quite yummy even without dessert. Then we drove through Starbucks and I ordered my usual "tall soy chai" (chai tea latte made with soy milk). I don't know what the barista did, but YUCK! It was horrific. First of all, the cup wasn't a tall cup, it was much larger. Secondly, I swear they used regular milk in it. At any rate, I didn't drink it. We went to Coni's to pick up Nyssa and were greeted with more birthday gifts! On our way back home we drove back through Starbucks and Brad got them to fix my drink. The drink we left with that time was MUCH better than the first. They were very apologetic and fixed the new drink quickly. Gotta love good customer service!

I've had lots of virtual birthday wishes from friends and phone calls from family members. It's been a really nice birthday.

And now I leave you with photos from my birthdays from the last three years.

Opening my birthday gifts (Four years later and I still have that same PDA!)

Dinner that evening at Blue Mesa with a couple of my BFFs and their hubbies - we've been friends since forever (Jr. High and High School).

Surprise party at Maggiano's - my sneaky hubby at work again!

My birthday cake - apparently I've had a pink & brown addiction for quite some time. Do you see HIS birthday cake in the background? Not sure why we thought we needed two cakes! And no, I did not turn 26 this year...I was actually 30 but Brad likes to pretend he forgets how old I am each year. You'll see what I mean with the next photo.

I think my birthday snuck up on us with regard to the cake this year...or else I had a major E cake obsession! And apparently I aged 2 years in one, since I am now 28 (really 31).

There are no festive birthday photos of me this year. Shoot, I was 9 days postpartum and not thinking clearly. That's the only excuse I have. We DID go out and celebrate - my mom babysat little newborn Nyssa while we went first to Carter's to get some winter clothing for her and then to On the Border for dinner. I made the mistake of calling Mom on our way back home and could hear Nyssa crying in the background. I felt horrible and cried on the way home! How could I have left my brand new baby?! Looking back I am glad we went and laugh at how distraught I was. This photo has nothing to do with my birthday other than the fact that it was taken on my birthday. Isn't it so sweet, though?

2008: - see above!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Unwanted House Guests

A mouse.

In the house.

Times three.


It's the product of living in a brand-new subdivision where these field mice are having their homes disrupted by the construction coupled with the fact that our builder left a decent-sized hole in the storage closet under the stairs.

The first mouse I learned about while at worship team rehearsal for Christmas Eve services the Thursday before Christmas. I received a text message from Brad, "Bad news. I had to kill a mouse upstairs."

I gasped and groaned and was generally unhappy that our home had been invaded by a rodent. I got home and heard the story - Brad had Nyssa on his back, and his brother Brian and daughter Haley were here. They were all upstairs in the craft room, when the mouse darted between Brad and Brian. Long story short, Brad trapped the mouse in the closet and then stomped on it.

Mouse number 2 has the funniest stereotypical story. Brad and Nyssa were out running errands on the Sunday before Christmas. I was at home making a rum cake and had sat down at the computer to answer emails while waiting for the cake to finish baking. Out of my peripheral vision I saw something run across the hearth in the living room. I glanced up as my mind tried to process what I had seen. Was it a bug? No, it was too fast for a bug. Crap, it must have been another mouse. UGH. I called Brad and muttered quickly, "There is a mouse in the house. There is a mouse in the house!" At that moment, the little rodent decided to peek his little rodent head out from behind the speaker and look at me. I screamed in Brad's ear, "THERE IS A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!" He told me he was right out front and to sit tight, he'd be right there to take care of the problem.

He walked in the door and handed Nyssa to me. He laughed because I was sitting on top of the bar in the kitchen. Nyssa was hungry, so I stayed on top of the bar with her and nursed her. Brad grabbed a wrought iron curtain rod to use as a weapon and started moving the stereo equipment and television to find our furry friend. Well, at that moment the plumber showed up to fix our leaking sink in the master bathroom. Brad paused his mouse hunt to let the plumber in. The plumber laughed at our predicament, completely entertained by Nyssa and me sitting up on the bar.

The mouse got brave and darted from behind the stereo across the living room and back into the laundry room. The funniest sight I have ever seen was my husband darting across the living room wielding the wrought iron curtain rod and yelling, "Come back her, you little...!"

Unfortunately, the mouse was pretty quick and dashed back into the aforementioned hole in the wall in the storage closet. *sigh* I knew we'd be contending with this creature again soon.

The next morning at 5:20, I heard a rustling on Brad's side of the bed. "Brad. Brad. BRAD, wake up! That stupid mouse is in our bedroom!!! He can't climb into the bed, right?" Brad reassured me that the mouse couldn't climb (I've since discovered evidence that this is not the case, they are apparently proficient climbers...more on that in a minute) and that Nyssa and I were safe in bed. He got up, went to the bathroom and got the stick to the toilet plunger, then turned on his bedside lamp and started looking for the mouse. The little guy darted into a pile of clothes in the middle of the floor. Brad threw a blanket on top of the clothes, scooped the whole pile up, and threw it all into our bathtub. Then he removed all the clothes and blanket, and I heard, "GO!" *whack* "TO!" *whack* "SLEEP!!!" *whack*

Mouse # 2 died a quick death and we were safe again...or so I thought.

A few nights later I was trying to get Nyssa to go to sleep while standing in "the magic spot" (at the bar-height countertop, facing the kitchen, with the laptop in front of me). Out of my peripheral vision I saw something dart under the front room doors. I turned to look, saw mouse # 3 and squealed, "ANOTHER MOUSE!" as the creature darted back into the room.

Brad got up from his computer, grabbed the toilet plunger from the front bathroom, and started his mouse hunt. Now, this front room is currently being used as a playroom/gigantic toybox, so it is full of great hiding places for a small rodent. Brad blocked off the entrance to the room and told me to watch and make sure he didn't escape. The mouse ended up getting trapped in the closet and his life ended shortly thereafter.

Brad has since plugged the hole in the closet under the stairs and we have not seen any more mice. We have seen evidence of mice in the way of droppings and a half-eaten Hershey's Special Dark bar in the pantry (which was my proof that they can climb, as it was near the top shelf, about eye level with me). I am not sure if this evidence is from the three mice that got into the house or if there are more that are lurking. Here's hoping it's from the dearly departed - I am tired of mice!

Three Works

Three works I want God's hand on in my life in 2008:
1) My worship team ministry at church as I proceed as a lead worshipper
2) My photography
3) My marriage

There are lots more, but these three are the most important (and are not in any particular order other than the order they came to me).

This is all part of the Home Sanctuary's Company Girl Sanctuary in the Small Things. Click on the Company Girl graphic to the right to read more!